Karachi: The Home Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF) here Thursday demanded to end all discriminatory laws against women, and accept them as equal citizens.
The rally was held on the occasion of the international women’s day and it was lead by HBWWF general secretary Zehra Khan. Thousands of women workers, representatives of trade unions and social and political organizations attended the rally that marched from the M.A Jinnah Road and ended at the Karachi Press Club.
The speakers said that the society could only be made democratic and progressive by ending discriminatory laws and biased attitudes against women. They said the Pakistani women, especially the women workers have been struggling against the society that it based on exploitation.
“The working women of this country are celebrating their international day in very difficult conditions. They like the working women of other countries are also braving multiple exploitations. On one hand there are reactionary traditions, customs and old thinking that have kept the women in slavery chains and on the other hand the women workers are braving the worst exploitation of the capitalist system, in which they are given lesser wages as compared to wages of male workers and they have to work for more hours,”
The speakers said the harassment of women at workplace has become a routine. In Pakistan the women, especially girls and non-Muslim women have been braving mental, physical and sexual torture in factories and farms. This menace is on the rise. When they demand their due rights, the feudal lords, mills owners and the management take coercive actions against them. Sadly, there is no section in the labour laws of this country to end harassment of women at workplace.
On the occasion HBWWF also presented their charter of demand, asking the Sindh government to announce the law for home based workers as soon as possible and Pakistan should rectify the homework convention 177 of the International Labour Organization.
The other demands included that the feudal and tribal system should be ended from the country, as this system has kept women enslaved for centuries, all anti women traditions should be ended, discrimination to women, Karo-kari, Wata Sata and honor killings should be ended.
They also demanded that legal system should be improved and its access to common citizens ensured, effective legislation should be carried out to end the religious extremism and it should also be implemented.
“There should be equal wages for equal work and the wages of workers should be increased. The maternity and post maternity leaves of women workers should be increased and also implemented. The women should be given representation in all elected institution on the basis of their ratio in population,” HBWWF demanded